Growing Kids

Whether you are just starting your parenting adventure, or enjoying the first month of being an empty nester, you know that kids are always growing.

Picture by rwalsh623 from Pixabay on Canva

From the baby phase – which I talked about last fall in Baby Time – to crawling, toddling, walking and climbing, each step of the way involves learning new things, big and small.

Some days you look at your kids and think “how did that happen? How did we get here so fast?” My son, who is almost 9, has grown 2” in the last month. Literally. We measured him each week, and he has been averaging about ½” per week since late July.

On the flip side, our youngest is kind of a peanut. She has always grown at her own pace, and she has been wearing the same shoe size for a year.

Both of those kids eat regular snacks and meals and are not generally very picky. Either one of them can eat as much as the teenager when they are hungry. Which my husband and I really recognized when we were all home for the duration of the lockdown earlier this year! I’m pretty sure our grocery bill tripled overnight.

Some days, my kids eat everything in sight!

As parents, we know that our kids are constantly growing. Sometimes, we get caught up in the day to day, and don’t notice it. We blink and they are several inches taller.

When they are babies, we mark every milestone and take them to the doctor every few weeks, then every month, etc. We note all of their stats in their baby books and keep track of all of those little things.

As they get bigger, some of those changes are not as noticeable, and it can sneak up on us!

My son’s head now reaches my shoulder. My oldest daughter is around my height (she says she’s taller than me, but I think I still have ½” on her – it all depends on the day).  Our oldest, at 16, may still be growing a bit, but for the most part she does not change sizes much anymore.

So…with kids constantly growing (or done growing), what is your strategy for back to school clothes?

Do you love shopping? I do! But not as a chore…

Our oldest still loves to do back to school shopping. However, with her closet overflowing with clothes I tried to limit her new school outfits this year. I tried to point out that she already has a lot of nice clothes and she doesn’t grow out of them as much as her brother and sister. The downside of her working and making her own money this summer? I was only partially successful in trying to win the argument – she just went and spent her own money on more clothes. Oh well.

Knowing that my son has been shooting up like a beanstalk, I bought him a couple pairs of jeans in early August (because he had none at all that fit), but for the most part I buy a couple outfits (shorts and t-shirts) before school starts and then wait until October to buy pants. And, after much trial and error (and many torn knees), I try to only buy pants with reinforced knees. My son is all boy, and he can trip over his own feet on perfectly flat ground. He also plays hard. I know this, so I plan accordingly.

My youngest is all girl, but somehow she also comes home with ripped knees in all her leggings. I have a stockpile of those iron-on fabric patches!

Growing kids are part of being a parent. And it’s a huge challenge sometimes to keep them in clothes that fit!

What are my parenting hacks for growing kids and clothes?

  • I trade clothes back and forth with my sister and other friends with kids around my kids’ ages. There are times when my kids have worn outfits maybe twice before they grew out of them – many times, kids’ clothes have very little wear and can be passed on to others easily.
    • My sister and I ship clothes back and forth across the country or take an extra bag when we travel for a visit.
    • I have been known to meet friends at random places to pass along a giant tub or two of clothes. It’s a great excuse to meet up for coffee or lunch and catch up!
  • Thrift stores and children’s consignment shops are your friend.
  • Try ThreadUp or Zulily for great deals.
  • Look for yard sales or garage sales in your area.
  • Summer styles tend to last longer or be able to be worn for multiple years more than long pants/shirts – don’t pull clothes out just because of size, it might still fit.
  • For the girls, dresses can often be worn as tunics over leggings for an extended time.
  • For those of you doing the remote school thing? Buy all the PJs! (Haha!)
In case you missed it - check out Kristi's 12 Time Management and Workspace Planning Hacks for Moms of Remote Schooling Kids!

Do your kids always want to wear their favorite clothes forever? Mine do! I often have to clear out the dressers while my kids are not home. Otherwise, they pull multiple things out of the too-small pile. When this happens, I usually persuade them that it really doesn’t fit anymore, and don’t they want to pass it along to their cousins? That argument works, most of the time.

I love each stage of my kids’ growth and development. And I love kids’ clothes. Every time I have to pull a favorite outfit from their wardrobe, it is a little bittersweet. It also makes me happy to know that someone else will be able to enjoy those clothes and make memories with their kids. And for the outfits that have been passed to the cousins and come back to us (from my oldest daughter, to my niece and now back for our youngest), I love telling the little that her sister used to wear something and it was one of my favorites then and now.

Growing kids are part of life. Embrace and enjoy each and every age and stage! And don’t sweat or stress about keeping them in clothes that fit. There are always solutions that don’t cost an arm and a leg!

Share this Post

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.